LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting to shore up his authority after five aides quit his administration, including one of his closest advisers who resigned in protest at his false claim against the opposition Labour leader.
Johnson could face a vote of no confidence in his leadership if 54 of his 360 Conservative lawmakers submit a letter to the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee which represents lawmakers who have no government jobs.
The letters are confidential, so only 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady knows how many have actually been submitted. Below are the seven Conservative members of parliament (MP) who have stated publicly that they have written one. The true number of letters may well be higher.
1. Roger Gale, MP since 1983 and former Conservative Party Vice-Chair
“This prime minister has clearly ‘inadvertently’ misled the House (of Commons) and he must take the consequences of so doing,” he said on Twitter.
2. Douglas Ross, MP since 2017, Scottish Conservative leader
“Regretfully, I have to say his position is no longer tenable,” he told broadcasters.
3. Andrew Bridgen, MP since 2010
“Sadly, the prime minister’s position has become untenable,” he wrote in the Telegraph newspaper. “Leadership is not just about the job title, or even making big decisions; it is equally about having a moral compass. Of knowing not just right from left but right from wrong.”
4. Peter Aldous, MP since 2010
“I have never taken such action before and had hoped that I would not be put in such an invidious position. Whilst I am conscious that others will disagree with me, I believe that this is in the best interests of the country, the Government and the Conservative Party,” he said on Twitter.
5. Tobias Ellwood, MP since 2005, chair of defence select committee and former junior minister
“This is just horrible for all MPs to continuously have to defend this to the British public,” he told Sky News. “It’s time to resolve this so the party can get back to governing.”
6. Anthony Mangnall, MP since 2019
“Standards in public life matter. At this time I can no longer support the PM. His actions and mistruths are overshadowing the extraordinary work of so many excellent ministers and colleagues,” he said on Twitter.
7. Gary Streeter, MP since 1992
“I cannot reconcile the pain and sacrifice of the vast majority of the British public during lockdown with the attitude and activities of those working in Downing Street.”